ASRock 939Dual-SATA2

Discussion in 'ASRock' started by jma, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. jma

    jma Guest

    I'm very leery about buying a "value" board but the ASRock 939Dual-
    SATA2 is my only option if I want to upgrade to Socket 939 and continue
    using my existing AGP card (Radeon X800 XT.) I read there were boot-up
    problems when the board first came out but they've supposedly been
    fixed with a BIOS update.

    This is for my gaming rig, so my main concerns are stability and
    compatibility with other hardware and software (I don't OC.) I've read
    the benchmark reviews but how does this board run in the real world?
    If it's a dog I'll hold off upgrading (and buy the A8N32-SLI Deluxe
    later) as I'm not ready to ditch the X800 XT yet.
    jma, Dec 10, 2005
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  2. jma

    Paul Guest

    And what would be wrong with an Asus A8V or A8V Deluxe ?
    The Via K8T800pro chipset does AGP.

    That Asrock board has a real AGP slot on it, due to the use of the
    flexible ULI chipset. On other Asrock boards, they have an "AGI"
    slot, which reduces performance. So, that will not be a problem
    in this case.

    You should have a look around, and find benchmarks for the U1695
    chipset, to see how the various options perform.

    The Asrock board does a couple of SATA ports via the Southbridge,
    and has a separate chip (JMB360) for a SATA2 port.

    Whether buying an Asrock board is a good idea, really depends on
    what people think of the quality and level of BIOS support,
    whether drivers are conveniently located for download, and
    whether the board architecture is good. In this case, I don't
    see any of the usual shortcuts in the board architecture, so
    this is really a matter of whether the ULI chips and the
    Asrock BIOS, function correctly. (Download the user manual
    and check the BIOS screens, to see if memory timing, clock
    speeds, voltages and so on, are adjustable. Sometimes those
    adjustments are essential to getting stability, like when
    solving memory compatibility problems.)

    The Asrock processor list for the board, is here:

    When it comes to architecture, there is a tendency for both Asrock
    and Asus, to hide tiny details about the implementation. Asrock by
    far is the worst offender, and Asus only fudges occasionally. There is
    no explanation for how AGI works from Asrock, and on some Asus boards,
    when a PCI-e x4 slot is offered, it turns out that sometimes there are
    only two PCI-e x1 lanes connected to the x4 slot. In cases like that,
    a little more honesty would be nice. (You shouldn't need a comp-sci
    degree and a hand calculator, to work out what the feature set is. :) )

    Paul, Dec 11, 2005
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  3. jma

    News Reeder Guest

    I have a ASROCK 939 Dual-Sata2, I used a 9800XT and now an X800XL video card
    on it and all in all, it seems to perform quite well. I found that the
    overclocking was not perfect, but that might have been my memory i was
    using, but some have said the board is not a great overclocker anyway. but
    is stable IMHO.
    News Reeder, Dec 11, 2005
  4. jma

    peterk Guest

    Ive just received my 939Dual place a 64x2 3800 on it with a Thermalright
    Si-97A and a Panaflo 92mm M1A as well as G.Skill Extreme Series F1 3200PHU2
    RAM (2x512) in Channels 1 and 2.Unfortunatly my eVga 6600 GT PCI-E Video
    card did not work and I ended up placing an old old Radeon 32 in the AGP
    slot and firing it up.Started right off the bat.There lots of lovely
    settings in the BIOS that I have not played with yet.At the present time I
    am in the middle of installing an OS.The board read every device I have
    attached.I need to install ME first(dont ask) before I can install
    XP.Somehow I missed the part in the manual where it says that tha SATA drive
    needs to be in RAID mode in order to install 98/ME....I tried all of last
    nite and it would never reboot after "loading drivers" at tthis very
    minute I am installing ME onto a SATA drive with RAID enabled in the BIOS.
    Let me know how your turns out
    It seems that message boards for Asrock are very hard to find or dont exist
    peterk, Dec 11, 2005
  5. jma

    jma Guest

    Thanks for the responses. I forgot to mention that I want the ability
    to upgrade to PCI-E later on using the same motherboard, which is why
    I'm limited to the ASRock, since no other manufacturers seem interested
    in the ULI M1695 chipset.

    Both the board and chipset got good reviews, and the features and BIOS
    options are adequate for me, but as I said my main concern is stability
    and compatibility with other components. I don't see much talk about
    this particular board on the newsgroups, which made me wonder if people
    are avoiding it or the AGP/PCI-E chipset is just not that popular.
    jma, Dec 11, 2005
  6. jma

    peterk Guest

    I've finished setting up the 939dual and it runs well.I have searched high
    and low for an Asrock newsgroup and found none.A Google search turns up lost
    of tests of the 939Dual mobo and most of them have good to very good
    reviews.The few tests that I have run so far puts in the same ballpark as an
    Nforce 4 chipset...
    The BIOS was an actual breeze to flash.I bought it an an ABIT A8N-Sli with 2
    chips Opteron148 and a 64x2 3800 plus a new case,PSU,RAM and a eVGA
    6600GT PCI-E video card.The video card crapped out on me so I installed an
    older Radeon in the AGP slot of the 939Dual with the 64x2 chip and got it up
    and running.I have to wait for the RMA to come back before I test it with a
    PCI-E video card.The idea was to build a new system using the Abit board and
    new parts and to rebuild an old system with the Asrock mobo and old parts.
    I used Everest and PC Wizard 2005 to run some tests.I ran
    Processor,RAM,memory and some disk benchmarks(SATA) and they were all higher
    that my Asus A7N8X deluxe ver2.0 with a Barton(2500) and the same amount of
    RAM.In the comparison charts they were sooooo close to the Nforce 4
    chipset.Cpu utilisation surprized me with the Barton running at 25% and the
    64x2 at 4%.The 64x2 chip is being cooled by a Thermalright SI-97A Heatsink
    with a Panaflo 92mm M1A Fan sitting on it and the temps never went higher
    than 32C.The Case itself has 2 120mm silent fans one in the front and one in
    the back and thats it for fans...unless you count the PSU fan which I
    consider only to be there to keep the PSU cool not the case.
    At this point I wondering why the hell did I not buy 2 of those Asrock
    boards and the heck with the Abit board.When I had the Video Card problem I
    emailed Abit Tech support in the AM and received a reply the next
    day....when I Emailed Asrock Tech support in the AM for the same thing I
    received a reply the same evening.
    Now comes the fun part of figuring out all those settings in the BIOS and
    start the overclocking .....usually I find the limit and then take it down
    about 25% because of heat....this time with those temps who knows??
    peterk, Dec 12, 2005
  7. jma

    jma Guest

    Good luck with that board. I just got my car insurance bill for next
    year, so I won't be upgrading yet. :-(
    jma, Dec 13, 2005
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